By Cheyenne Jacquet
Today was a real eye-opener, from the kids’ willingness to share stories openly to the different aspects of the culture. Just while driving on the road you could view the difference in the culture. For example we view pets in different ways than the people of the reservation do. On the reservation they have “wild” dogs. These “wild” dogs are known as Rez dogs. Rez dogs are not owned by anyone and are free to move around the land as they please. They are not vaccinated or tamed. While driving to our first school I came across my first Rez dog casualty, yes I saw a dead dog on the side of the road. Now in La Crosse if someone were to come across this it would be handled a different way, but here it’s like if we were to see a dead deer on the side of the road.
Another eye opener for me was how open the kids were with their personal lives. At the first aid fairs my station that I presented was about burns. Having this station opened up a lot more discussion than I was anticipating. One student shared their personal story about how their relative was burned and this really hit me hard. And this was the first of many stories. This really makes me appreciate the help that we have in Wisconsin and the knowledge I have been taught. Never take anything for granted.